Working for the Word
Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: You are the Christ, must suffer greatly ... be rejected ... be killed ... rise after three days, take up [the] cross, follow me
To the point: Peter recoils at Jesus' revelation that as “the Christ” he must “suffer greatly ... be rejected ... be killed, and rise after three days.” Peter, is so aghast at Jesus' words about suffering and death that he fails to hear the most important part of the revelation about who Jesus is and what he is to accomplish. He fails to grasp that through death Jesus will be raised to new life. Hearing Jesus' teaching about taking up his cross to follow him can cause us similarly to recoil as did Peter. But we live on the other side of the resurrection. We know that death brings risen life. This assurance of new life is what gives us the courage to “take up [our] cross, and follow” Jesus.
Connecting the Gospel …
… to the First Reading: The resoluteness of the Suffering Servant not to turn back no matter what suffering must be faced is the same resoluteness Jesus ' shows in his choice to face suffering and death so that all may have life.
… to experience: It is easy to be resolute about what brings us joy, pleasure, advancement, possessions, and honor. It is far more difficult to be resolute about what costs us dearly of our time, energy, resources, and even our very life.
**From Saint Louis University